Athena SWAN

Parenting and Childcare Review

Progress update - January 2018


In 2017 the University set up a Parenting and Childcare Working Group,led by Professor Candy Rowe, to undertake a comprehensive review of the current support for staff and student parents.
The aim of the review was to:
  • Evaluate Newcastle University’s current childcare provision in relation to the needs of parents, and identify areas where we can improve.
  • Develop and propose initiatives, policies and cultural changes to address issues raised by staff and students that will better enable them to balance their family commitments with their study, work and career aspirations.
  • Recommend changes to key University Committees for implementation.
The Working Group invited staff and students to participate in surveys and focus groups between January and April 2017.  The key issues included: childcare provision, policies and support around periods of extended parental leave, and attitudes and culture on campus. These findings were used to inform the development of a report and implementation plan.

Current position

In response to the findings of the review, the University Executive Board (UEB) committed to fund a three-year action plan, with work ranging from high level issues connected to organisational culture and on-site childcare provision, to smaller and more detailed amendments to specific policies and practices.

This work is now being undertaken as part of the For Families project, and supported by a part-time administrator, Renita Barbour.   Newcastle University staff can access more information on workstreams and priorities via the For Families web page.